At the time of writing, my colleague and I have just attended the A.P.I. A.N.A.I.’s annual congress, Evolution, in Barcelona. There were around 1000 participants mainly from Catalonia and Valencia.
These two regions are the ones that have so far introduced a mandatory register, Catalonia in 2010 and Valencia in 2022. In Spain as a whole, the requirement for a broker’s licence was abolished in 2000 and it is now the autonomous regions that can introduce their own registers if they so wish. API ANAI is one of the largest estate agency associations in Spain with almost 6,000 members, mainly in the regions where certification is required to join the register.
What do these registers mean for estate agents?
In short, this is very logical. It is to protect consumers. A real estate agent should have the right knowledge to give the right advice to their clients.
That’s why we introduced the requirement for everyone to complete a 250-hour course with a final exam and certification. The agent must also be a member of a community and it is compulsory to have liability insurance and insurance to cover clients’ money (e.g. deposits, etc.). It’s really no more difficult than that, and in my opinion very logical.
In Andalusia there are no legal requirements for licences or training and those of us who have them have done so of our own free will. However, Andalusia is the region in Spain that places the most stringent requirements on estate agents regarding how and in what way they must advertise the properties and what information they must collect before putting a property up for sale.
There is a largely finalised draft law in Andalusia since 2019 to introduce a register, so it is likely to come into force eventually as well.
As a profession, we welcome these improvements. Especially since every week we meet clients who have been given completely wrong advice by people working as estate agents without the right knowledge.
A step in the right direction has been taken by the estate agency association GIPE, which this year introduced new courses and became the first bilingual Spanish estate agency association. GIPE now offers certification courses in both Spanish and English. As well as training sessions, networking meetings etc at the headquarters in Palacio Salinas in the centre of Málaga. The membership fee of only 50€ per month also includes liability insurance.
In this way, GIPE extends a hand to hundreds of people working as estate agents on the Costa del Sol who do not speak enough Spanish to do the courses. We are convinced that there are many people working in the sector who would like to receive training and knowledge, but have not known where to turn.
For more information about GIPE